Opinion | There’s nothing like live music

By Rachel Soloff, Opinions Editor

The best feeling in the world is right when the lights go down at a concert and everyone screams. Your heartbeat quickens and the adrenaline courses through you as the first song plays. You realize that your favorite musician is standing mere feet away from you, and feel joy unlike anything else.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I was worried that I would never experience this feeling again. I panic-read many articles about live music, and if it would and could come back the way it was pre-pandemic. There is truly no other experience like seeing music live, and I was truly scared of losing this experience. Just like everything else at the beginning of the pandemic, concerts had an uncertain future.

Thankfully, I was able to see three artists I really enjoyed both before and after Omicron, and I felt grateful that I was able to see music live again. Seeing a concert — especially after two years of only listening to music myself with headphones — is an experience to appreciate. Listening to music is typically an individualized experience, but going to a concert means having a connection with the artist and others who appreciate the music too. It can impact you positively for years to come and everyone deserves to feel this feeling in their lifetime. 

It’s hard to put into words the feeling of seeing live music. There are many aspects that transcend words. As a writer, it’s difficult for me to not be able to put these feelings into words, but that’s also the beauty of it. There is a certain kind of joy and meaningful feeling that nothing else besides live music can provide. You can feel it in your soul and even your body.

This feeling is even backed up by science. A study of 117 concert-goers revealed that attending a concert lowered cortisol levels, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rates. Another scientist found that by frequently attending concerts, a person can extend their life expectancy by nine years.

There is even some scientific backing to the phrase “post-concert depression,” which people have used to describe the sadness they feel after the euphoria and adrenaline rush-fueled experience of a concert. One study found that 90% of concert-goers felt feelings of euphoria after attending a concert, and when surveyed two weeks later, 68% felt lingering anxiety after the concert.

While there are obviously many factors that prevent people from seeing their favorite artists, such as exorbitant ticket prices, people’s appreciation for music expands when they are able to attend concerts. I recently saw Tame Impala, an artist I have deeply appreciated for years already. But attending the concert made me appreciate the artistry of his talent even further. I felt like I could appreciate every instrument and sound that went into making my favorite songs.

Not only are you able to appreciate the artistry of the music — oftentimes a concert is a show with lights, dancing and other aspects of entertainment beyond the music. Many artists have incorporated advanced choreography and interesting visuals that make them must-see shows. You are not just going to hear music, you are going to experience a new way to think about the music with a different visual presentation.

One of the underrated aspects of going to a concert is who you go with, and the lasting memories you will share with the person you go to a concert with. At my very first concert, I went with my dad. We saw Bruce Springsteen, and I cried because I felt overwhelmed with joy from seeing an artist I grew up listening to with the person who introduced me to him. Every time my dad tells that story, he gets choked up. It’s an experience he and I both cherish, and there’s no other place besides a concert that could provide that experience. 

Concerts also provide a space in which you can truly be yourself and get lost in the music. Every time I go to a concert, I jump around and scream the words out. I truly don’t think I’d feel comfortable doing that in any other space besides a concert. Everyone else is also feeling as excited as you are, and it feels like you can truly lose yourself in the experience in a way that you can’t anywhere else. 

As we begin to settle back into semi-normalcy, it’s important to really appreciate concerts. Having not had them for two years, it feels like both artists and concert-goers are really appreciating what we missed. There’s a magic that we need to preserve and, hopefully, we will from now on.

Rachel Soloff writes primarily about the entertainment industry and how lame antisemites are. Write to her at [email protected].